Restaurant News

Chris Bianco Responds to Claim that Customer Was Kicked Out of Pane Bianco for Speaking Spanish

Yesterday a Phoenix resident took to social media with a serious accusation against one of the Valley's most famous restaurants. Last night Pane Bianco responded on its Facebook page and today chef Chris Bianco spoke about the matter with Chow Bella.

Jeffrey Peterson, a technology entrepreneur and investor, posted on Facebook that he had been "thrown out" of James Beard Award winning chef Chris Bianco's Pane Bianco restaurant in Phoenix.

He claims he was told by an employee that the "dining room is for English speakers only."

See also: Chris Bianco on Jamie Oliver, the Local Chefs He Most Admires, and What Makes an Awesome Pizza Awesome

Peterson has since taken down the post (or made it private) but you can read the status update below. In it he claims he was asked to leave the restaurant because he was speaking Spanish.

The post received nearly 100 comments and many shares.

Late Thursday night Pane Bianco released the following response on the restaurant's Facebook page:

Pane Bianco chef and owner Chris Bianco had this to say about the incident, "I'm horrified by this accusation and it isn't a policy."

The chef, who has restaurants in Phoenix, Tucson, and London, also adds that Spanish is regularly spoken in the restaurant by both customers and employees.

Bianco is one of the state's most famous chefs and opened his first restaurant at Town & Country in Phoenix in 1994. Pane Bianco has been open since 2002.

Peterson, who is chairman and CEO at Mobile Corporation according to his Facebook, is best known for founding Quepasa, an online social media community for Hispanic Americans.

Peterson founded the company in 1997 and took it public in June 1999. After being ousted by a new CEO later that year, he regained control of the company from 2002 to 2006, at which time he sold it to billionaire investor Richard Scott.

Peterson has not returned emailed requests for comment, but if he does we will let you know what he has to say.

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Lauren Saria
Contact: Lauren Saria